The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether it is illegal for mortgage lenders to tack on fees to closing costs for services that were not provided. The case was brought by three Louisiana couples who claim their lender violated a 1974 federal law aimed at preventing abusive practices in real estate closings.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:04 pm
Sucre in New Orleans is one of many bakeries that leaves the plastic baby out of the king cake.
Credit John Rose/NPR
If you've been in New Orleans for carnival season, or if you're lucky enough to taste a cake from there that has arrived in the mail, there's a pretty good chance that yes, there is a plastic baby that comes with your cake.
The baby, meant to represent Jesus, has become a fixture of the king cake (galette des rois in France or rosca de reyes as it's called in Mexico). It's a frosted yeast dough cake that New Orleans bakeries churn out between King's Day, January 6th, and Fat Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before Lent.
Docks on the Bon Secour River sit idle nearly two years after the BP oil spill. The small fishing village of Bon Secour, Ala., is still suffering the lingering effects of the spill, despite government monitoring and assurances that Gulf seafood is not contaminated.
A federal court in New Orleans is preparing for one of the largest and most complex environmental lawsuits ever to come to court. It stems from the worst oil disaster in U.S. history: the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig nearly two years ago and the resulting oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
Testimony is scheduled to begin at the end of the month. The case combines more than 500 lawsuits in one proceeding designed to determine who's responsible for what went wrong.
On Aug. 5, a federal jury handed down one of the most sweeping verdicts in the modern history of American police brutality cases. Five New Orleans police officers were convicted of various roles in gunning down civilians in the days after Hurricane Katrina, and then covering it up. Five other officers pleaded guilty.
The Danziger Bridge case, as it's called, adds momentum to a reform effort already under way. The Department of Justice says it's committed to cleaning up the New Orleans Police Department, once and for all.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:27 pm
A federal jury found five former New Orleans police officers guilty of civil rights violations in connection to the shooting deaths of two men on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans. The shootings took place during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The AP reports:
"All five officers were convicted Friday of charges stemming from the cover-up of the shootings. The four who had been charged with civil rights violations in the shootings were convicted on all counts.
"However, the jury decided that neither fatal shooting was a murder.